It’s safe to assume that the thought of a house fire is terrifying for everyone. A house fire is something no one ever wants to experience. Here are some of the most common causes of house fires and how you can prevent them.
1. Cooking Accidents
· Never leave the stove unattended while cooking
· Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and remove the pan.
· Slowly heat oil to the desired temperature
· Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil doesn’t splatter
· Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Never throw water on the fire!
· If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home and call the fire department from outside.
· Keep home heaters at least 3 feet away from bedding and curtains and do NOT hang clothes on them to dry.
· Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection
· Place heater on a solid, flat surface.
· Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet and do not use an extension cord.
· Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.
3. Cigarettes (Smoking)
· Use a sturdy ashtray that has a stable and wide base. You can also use a non-combustible can filled with sand to collect ashes.
· Soak cigarette ashes and butts in water before disposing of them to ensure they are fully extinguished.
· Never throw burning cigarette butts or ashes directly in a trashcan.
· Make sure you fully extinguish your cigarettes before disposal.
4. Laundry Appliances
· Have a professional install your dryer.
· Remove the lint from the filter before and after each load of laundry and clean it with a nylon brush every 6 months. Also clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up.
· Twice a year, clean lint from the exhaust duct that leads from the back of your dryer to the outside of your home.
· If your clothes have anything flammable on them, wash them more than once and dry them outside or in a well-ventilated room.
· Don’t run your dryer when you’re asleep or away.
5. Flammable Liquids (Chemical fires)
· Never store materials that can cause a fire in the sun or near an open flame or heat source
· Store products in their original containers out of the reach of children and pets. Store anything that can catch fire away from your home
· Use safety lock and guardrails on shelves and cabinets when you store materials. This prevents them from tipping of falling.
· Only fil portable gas containers outdoors.
· Don’t mix products.
These are just a few of the ways that a house fire can start. Always make sure to have working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency. Being prepared is key to protecting your home and family.